Thursday, December 5, 2019

News: Jobs hope with "Project Chorus"


Efforts are well advanced in attracting another manufacturer to the Sheffield city region (SCR) - with Rotherham a leading contender for the firm's potential multimillion pound investment.

The SCR's mayoral combined authority has recently backed an £8m package of support for an unnamed company that is looking to establish a research & development, and potentially a manufacturing facility, in the city region.

The package follows on from similar initiatives that supported McLaren Automotive's £50m investment in Rotherham and Boeing's £20m investment in Sheffield.

Dubbed "Project Chorus" by staff working to land the latest inward investor, the first phase has a total value of £18m.

Documents show that the company "are initially seeking to establish a research and development facility to develop the next generation of antennae for satellite control systems. This will create c358 mostly high value jobs.

"The second phase will establish a manufacturing facility in the city region, creating a wide range of additional jobs.

"The project significantly complements the expertise at the AMRC and is a globally significant development which will deliver opportunities in the supply chain for local businesses."


The presence of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and its own multimillion pound facilities on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and the Sheffield Business Park over the Parkway, was key to securing the investments from McLaren and Boeing.

Rothbiz reported in June that a city region grant was being prepared for Ricardo plc, a global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy that specialises in the transport, energy and scarce resources sectors, to support plans to open a facility in Rotherham.

For "Project Chorus" the activity of local authority leaders hints at where the investment could be made if everything goes to plan. Doncaster's Mayor Ros Jones abstained from voting having previously voiced concerns over accepting the scheme to the city region's Local Growth Fund programme given that it was "over-programmed" - ie. the total cost of supporting all of the projects is greater than the total amount available.

At the meeting of the combined authority where the Project Chorus scheme was accepted into the LGF programme, Cllr. Chris Read declared a non-Pecuniary interest in the matter by virtue of being Leader of the sponsoring authority, Rotherham Council.

Images: Nikken


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